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Abstract

Following the first European fi-compass conference on Financial instruments under the EAFRD which took place in Dublin on 23-24 June 2015, a macro-regional fi-compass seminar is being organised in Vienna (1 October 2015). It will be followed by another seminar in Riga (29 October 2015). Participants can expect to further their understanding of how Financial Instruments can help in their efforts to deliver the objectives of the EAFRD, including in field of agriculture and agri-business.

The purpose of the seminar is:

  • to provide Member States and Managing Authorities with an opportunity to learn more about the advantages, features and suitability of Financial Instruments in delivering Rural Development Programme objectives;
  • to provide the opportunity to discuss in depth the technical challenges that the Managing Authorities and the Member States are facing at the moment in regards the design and set up of Financial Instruments; and
  • to present the range of support available from fi-compass, as well as from European Commission and European Investment Bank co-operation in general.

Participants will hear concrete examples from investors and Managing Authorities on the implementation of Financial Instruments in agriculture and rural development and the advisory and other support available from fi-compass and the EC and EIB in realising Financial Instruments on the ground. Strong audience interaction is foreseen through panel sessions with high-level participation, question and answer segments as well as roundtables. German translation will be provided at this event.

The final agenda

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Seminar: EAFRD Financial Instruments for agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020, Vienna, 1 October 2015

Promoting financial instruments for agriculture and rural development

The importance of knowledge about using ex-ante assessments properly was one of the main conclusions from the recent fi-compass event focused on the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Knowhow about this and other systematic approaches involved in setting up an EAFRD financial instrument where noted as being extremely useful for EAFRD managing authorities.

Other key topics discussed by the seminar speakers and delegates included the benefits of financial instruments for farmers and agri-food businesses in terms of access to funding, as well as the benefits to managing authorities such as leverage (performance) opportunities. Good working relationships between managing authorities and financial intermediaries was another piece of valuable advice highlighted during the event, which also emphasised the role that fi-compass can play in supporting the creation of financial instruments under the EAFRD. Targeted coaching for managing authorities about financial instruments and networking of their experts are two other areas raised as part of the future advisory services that can bring benefits on the ground. These are being considered for inclusion in the 2016/17 fi-compass work programme.

All these points emerged from a fruitful day of discussions and knowledge exchanges at the EAFRD fi-compass event, which took place in Vienna and attracted EAFRD managing authorities and stakeholders from 20 EU countries. Participants included a broad mix of institutional representatives and experiences. These ranged from Directors and Heads of managing authorities and paying agencies, experts from Member States, consultants, banking bodies and academics. Such a cross-section of interests underlined the importance of financial instruments for the future development of EU agriculture and rural areas.

Mihail Dumitru, Deputy Director General at the European Commission’s DG Agriculture and Rural Development, underlined this message in his opening remarks to the seminar. He noted the significant potential that financial instruments can play in supporting employment for Europe’s agri-food sector and rural areas in general. Economic and environmental sustainability were emphasised as further vital considerations for EAFRD financial instruments.

Other speakers at the fi-compass EAFRD seminar reiterated these points during an interesting collection of presentations describing good practices and peer advice for the audience. Among these were EAFRD case studies from the Netherlands, Slovenia, Italy, Portugal and the host country Austria. Loan and guarantee funds as well as Fund of Fund models providing support for agriculture and rural development investments were featured by these presentations. Opportunities for EAFRD equity investment fields were also explained to the delegates.

See the event’s programme below for a full set of presentations by speakers on these and other topics concerning EAFRD financial instruments.

New fi-compass seminars focused on the EAFRD are planned for Riga on 29 October and all of the fi-compass events currently underway in Member States will also include advice about financial instruments under the EAFRD.

Seminar: EAFRD Financial Instruments for agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020, Vienna, 1 October 2015

Title Speakers
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Introduction and opening remarks

Mihail Dumitru, Deputy Director General, Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission

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Introduction and opening remarks

Markus Hopfner, Director, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, Austria

       

Needs, challenges and strategies for agriculture and agri-food industry

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The investment needs in Europe’s agriculture and agri-food industry

Max Schulman, Chairman Cereals Working Party, COPA – COGECA

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Challenges and strategies for agriculture in Austria

Nikolaus Morawitz, Presidium, EU and international relations, Austrian Chamber of Agriculture

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Supporting investments in Austrian agriculture and rural areas

Elmar Ritzinger, President, Austrian Chamber of Agriculture

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Q&A

Max Schulman, Chairman Cereals Working Party, COPA – COGECA
Nikolaus Morawitz, Presidium, EU and international relations, Austrian Chamber of Agriculture
Elmar Ritzinger, Director, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, Austria

       

Investment through financial instruments: Relevant experiences and lessons from agriculture, rural development, and beyond

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Equity instruments for agriculture and agri-business

Luigi Amati, President, Board of Directors Business Angels Europe and CEO META Group

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Guarantee institutions in supporting EU agriculture and rural development and their value added

Giorgio Venceslai, Executive Director, ISMEA (Italy)

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Experience in managing financial instruments under shared management and the challenges ahead

Bruno Robino, European Investment Bank Group

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Q&A

Luigi Amati, Board of Directors Business Angels Europe and CEO META Group
Giorgio Venceslai, Executive Director, ISMEA (Italy)
Bruno Robino, European Investment Bank Group Equity instruments for agriculture and agri-business

       

Programming and implementation of FIs under the EAFRD 2014-20

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2014-20 EAFRD programmes and the potential use of financial instruments

Martin Scheele,Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission

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State of play of Financial Instruments in the EAFRD 2014-2020 programmes – cases from the ground

Kees van Drunen,Ministry of Economic Affairs, Netherlands

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State of play of Financial Instruments in the EAFRD 2014-2020 programmes – cases from the ground

Maja Marinček/Alenka Šesek,Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, Slovenia

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State of play of Financial Instruments in the EAFRD 2014-2020 programmes – cases from the ground

Jose Rodriguez, Ministry of Agriculture and Sea, Portugal

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Q&A

Martin Scheele, Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission
Kees van Drunen, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Netherlands
Maja Marinček, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, Slovenia
Jose Rodriguez, Ministry of Agriculture and Sea, Portugal

       

Support for 2014-20 EAFRD FI implementation

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fi-compass advisory support for Financial Instruments under the EAFRD

Kieran Kearney, European Investment Bank

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Ex-ante assessment methodology for financial instruments supporting agriculture

Sebastian Beiglböck, Austrian Institute for Regional Studies and Spatial Planning

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Support available to Managing Authorities and stakeholders under July 2014 EC-EIB Memorandum of Understanding on co-operation on financial instruments supported by the EAFRD

Nivelin Noev, Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission

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Support available to Managing Authorities and stakeholders under July 2014 EC-EIB Memorandum of Understanding on co-operation on financial instruments supported by the EAFRD

Ioannis Tsakiris, European Investment Bank Group

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Informal roundtable discussion

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Closing remarks

Martin Scheele, Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission